The Robert O. Norris Bridge in White Stone suffered another set-back after new safety concerns were discovered causing another 3-ton weight limit to be imposed on the bridge.
During a milling and paving operation on the bridge, a VDOT construction worker reported an abnormal sound that could potentially indicate a safety concern with the bridge element. This resulted in the vehicle weight limit being lowered to 3-tons for motorists’ safety while the problem was being investigated.
Detour signs were in place throughout routes at key decision points across the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.
Bridge safety inspectors performed visual inspections of the critical elements closest to the area of concern including gusset plates, bearings and main bridge truss elements.
Passenger vehicles, light duty pickup trucks and ambulances were permitted to cross the bridge. Virginia State Police were stationed at approaching lanes of the bridge to enforce the 3-ton restriction.
Last week a team of inspectors reviewed several areas of the bridge but, according to VDOT, additional inspections were required to lift the weight limit ban. Inspectors completed their assessment and lifted the ban midday on Friday declaring the bridge was safe. The 45-ton limit is back in effect and the bridge remains open to all traffic.
Drivers can expect delays periodically in the upcoming week while clean-up is being done. The project is expected to be completed by Labor Day weekend and all lanes will be open.
Inspectors from the Virginia Department of Transportation will continue to check the structure for potential damage.
The Robert O. Norris Bridge was built in 1957. It underwent a major rehabilitation in 1996. The bridge spans 9,988 feet across the Rappahannock River and is 26 feet wide.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo 8/29/18